How a Newpaper Article Failed Me

The other day as I was browsing through the dead tree version of the newspaper (that I get delivered to my door because then I can then mulitask between real world and the online world) I came across a small blurb about a marketing company in Toronto that had released an ebook about the growing “blurriness” between different forms of communication (email, social networks, television etc).

My interest was piqued, so I browsed over to their website to purchase the book (My assumption was that I would have to pay for it, I didn’t expect a marketing agency to understand the concept of The Long Tail or Free). I’m not going to link to the site because what I found was a shocking example of incompatablity and shoddy marketing.

The only reference to the ebook is an ad at the top of the page with the paper’s title. No indication about what it is, or what you might get once you click.When you do click you’re screen is graced with a popup. That loads a flash player. That gives you an animated book.

What is wrong with this picture:

  1. Closed, inaccessible system – there is no way to download this book, save your place or deep link;
  2. Arcahic methods of delivery – relying on old school marketing methods in a newschool environment;
  3. Insulting UI – Popups and flash players may have looked good on the whiteboard, but its not how people browse the web.

If you are going to use the internet’s method of distribution, first learn how the internet distributes information.

The only people who read that paper did so because they saw the same newspaper article I did and made a huge effort to get it. And again I realised the folly of relying on the newspaper industry to provide me with content quickly and easily.

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